Big Data training from QA

Return on Expectation (ROE)

Being able to provide tangible returns as a result of training is essential in proving the value of both individual training programmes and L&D in general.



Most of our clients talk to us about ROI (Return on Investment) – in fact what ROI does is aim to isolate training benefits and calculate the financial return on an event. The real question though is: can you reliably isolate the effects of training from other business and external factors; and are all of the returns you are looking for quantifiable?

This is particularly tricky for behavioural training (e.g. leadership programmes). It is really difficult to prove that only the training programme is responsible for changes in behaviour over a period of time. There are so many other factors that would and could come into play (e.g. organisational environment, current business climate, self-learning, on-the-job development, peer pressure).

New World Kirkpatrick model


At QA we recommend the use of the New World Kirkpatrick model as an evaluation methodology. It looks at returns in the form of ROE (Return on Expectation) rather than ROI. This provides both qualitative and quantitative data to show the returns on training initiatives – because fundamentally, it recognises that training does not happen in a vacuum.

Calculating ROE allows for the intangible benefits of training to be recognised as much as the financial ones. The New World Kirkpatrick model enables us to do this in a compelling way by creating a chain of evidence to support the results of a learning programme, and therefore legitimise the development initiatives.

Kirkpatrick methodology also enables you to present compelling results at numerous stages throughout your evaluation process. It allows you to show your stakeholders that your development initiatives are moving the organisation in the right direction and that behaviour change and results are being achieved immediately after training takes place. However, this will only be successful if you have agreed at the outset what the required behavioural changes are (critical behaviours), and what the leading indicators for those behavioural changes will be (e.g. what will be different? what measures of improvement will shift?).

If you would like to discuss your evaluation approach in more detail, or if you need some help in creating it, contact our Kirkpatrick ‘Silver’ accredited evaluation consultant Nicola Downes.

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